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PS Open League 30/60; AKo in BB; One caller before me; Push or raise?

PS Open League 30/60; AKo in BB; One caller before me; Push or raise? - Sun Mar 10, 2013, 10:40 AM
KGClarke's Avatar
Since: Mar 2013
Posts: 50

Early days in a PokerSchool Open League Tournament. UTG caller (who has so far called every unraised hand preflop) and folded to me; I raise.
I've only played one hand in the last dozen - a BB check with a small pair which I should have check/folded on the flop but bluffed when a flush draw appeared and got my fingers burnt.

If I push, I don't make much value from AK if the caller folds. If I raise and oppenent re-raises then I intend to get it all in.
But just a call follows.
Flop is wetter than a typical English summer, but I have already committed 1/3 of my stack so I push. The rest is history.

Sorry, this hand was deleted by its owner

It's very early in the game, so should I have just tried to take 1.5 blinds of value with such a big hand?
Should I have check/folded the flop? I haven't seen enough to know how the hand could play out.

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 12:47 PM
JWK24's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 24,788
Hi KGClarke!

This hand is a great example of where league strategy needs to be different from a cash mtt. In a cash game, I'm looking to acquire chips to make a final table, then top 3 run. In a league, I'm looking to survive as long as possible in order to accumulate league points (regardless of stack size).

If this were a cash tourney, with about 15BB and a limp, I'd just shove here preflop. A raise would almost pot-commit me, so I'm going to put the pressure on the opponent, instead of having it on me (especailly if I miss the flop, which I'll do about 2/3 of the time).

Since this is a league game, I need to go about it totally different. Here, I don't want to put extra chips into the pot, especially early in a tourney, unless I know that I'll have the best hand after all 5 are on the board and I do not ever want to be all-in unless I'm sure I'll be ahead after all 5 board cards. Getting a negative league score could cost me a large amount of real $$ (not tourney chips) at the end of the month, so I don't want to take chances and sacrifice real $$ for tourney chips.
With AK in the BB and an UTG limp, I'm going to check here and see the flop for free. I already have lost about 1/2 my stack and I need to make what I have left last as long as possible. My plan for the rest of the hand will be... if I hit the flop, to make a value bet. If I miss, I'll check/fold. Also, if I do want to raise preflop, I want to make standard raises, which for this blind level is to 3BB+1BB for each limper (240 here). I do not want to make a larger or smaller raise, as that can be a tell for the opponent on the strength of my hand. Making standard raises helps to conceal the strength of my hand, as I'll make the same bet with AA, 33, AK, JTs, or even a total bluff.

When playing league games, personally, I wouldn't even consider a blind steal until I'm 100% certain I'm in positive points for the game (which normally won't happen until well into the 2nd hour. The risk of real money from the monthly leaderboard will never be worth the reward of a few tourney chips.

Hope this helps and good luck at the tables.

John (JWK24)


6 Time Bracelet Winner

Thumbs up
Thanks - Sun Mar 10, 2013, 02:12 PM
KGClarke's Avatar
Since: Mar 2013
Posts: 50
Thanks for the comments, John.

Having just completed the MTT course (better late than never) I can see that my emphasis in league games should be on survival and I need to make some adjustments to my style.


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